Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This unit looks at human security from a humanitarian perspective. Students will explore the international humanitarian system, the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the Responsibility to Protect, civil-military relations in emergencies, issues facing refugees and displaced populations and international legal frameworks including the implications of the International Criminal Court for humanitarian practice. This unit will offer insights into international efforts to prevent genocide and crimes against humanity, whilst realising the challenges to humanitarian action in a complex world. This unit aims to challenge assumptions about aid and intervention, as well as provide discussion around the current trends that impact on humanitarian work. This subject will be taught with staff from the Humanitarian Advisory Group.

SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorTim Thornton

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Enrolment in the Master of International Relations (AMIR/AMIRL/AMIRH/AMIRS), Graduate Diploma of International Relations(AGIR), Graduate Certificate of International Relations (ACIR), Master of International Development or related double masters (AMID/AMIDV/AMIDH/HZHPHID/HZPHID), Graduate Diploma of International Development(AGDST) or Graduate Certificate of International Development (ACDST).


Incompatible subjects POL4HSD

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsGlobalization, development and human security,RecommendedMcGrew, A. and Poku, N. K. (eds)POLITY 2007
ReadingsHuman Security: Reflections on Globalization and InterventionRecommendedKaldor, MaryCAMBRIDGE:POLITY 2007
ReadingsHuman security and the UN :a critical history,RecommendedMacFarlane, N.INDIANA UNIVERSITY PRESS 2006
ReadingsRethinking Human SecurityRecommendedGoucha, Moufida and Crowley, John (eds)CHICESTER: WILEY 2008

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Include a comprehensive bibliography in your critical review to demonstrate your familiarity with the multitude of sources and perspectives available for studying human security.

Essay; in-class presentation

02. Where appropriate work cooperatively in class in relation to writing, inquiry, research, critical thinking and creative problem-solving.

Essay; in-class presentation

03. Write critical reviews that demonstrate your comprehensive understanding of human security as a concept.

Essay; in-class presentation

04. Write critical reviews that demonstrate your comprehensive understanding of the practical application of human security in international affairs.

Essay; in-class presentation

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

City, 2016, Week 34-36, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorTim Thornton

Class requirements

Seminar Week: 34 - 36
Four 7.5 hours seminar per study period on any day including weekend during the day from week 34 to week 36 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
one 3,500-word research essay75 01, 02, 03, 04
one class presentation on human security (1,000-words equivalent)25 01, 02, 03, 04